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“The basics were not right”

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smartline Koala Garden
Ranked #192 of 220 Hotels in Maspalomas
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
“The basics were not right”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

Travelled here for 1 week all inclusive on 16 December 2013. The hotel appear to be undergoing a transition of management and change, and as such this was reflected in the absence of flexibility with drinks at the bar, 1 per person- meaning that each person had to get their own. Challenged in terms of volume of drinks at the time of day you started drinking (despite the bar opening at 11am).
The food was buffet based in 2 restaurants. The timings were very strict. Snack period were biscuits. Staff were most friendly. There was a limited supply of hot water each day, 10mins maximum in our room. We notified the hotel but no change. Unable to call reception from room. It is in a nice quiet location, playa des ingles is just 4 euro each way in taxi. Free beach bus, however we walked and it was 40mins each way and very easy route. No heated pools. No evening entertainment. Local supermarkets close by. Wifi only in reception. No matter what room you have, you'll most likely get a pool view. A nice break, but just didn't wow us on this occasion.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Glyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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724 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Uk
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

Area 4,5 very quiet, relaxing we were over restaurant
Accommodation clean, services good, no activities in this area, except pools, taxi on door step, but they won't take you to wed/sat market as it's a 200 mtr walk. Food good, some Bar Staff exceptionally funny, staff are strict on using of restaurant times, if you're late you would miss meal.

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SCOTLAND
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

We arrived at the Hotel with mixed feelings after looking at the reviews but because it was a cheap last minute holiday we decided to just make the most of it.

Our worries were over, it is a great Hotel with fantastic staff and very helpful management.

It looks like the place is undergoing a revamp by the new owners as we could see improvements being made while we were there. (it's ok no building work only cosmetic)

The Hotel is made up of 5 zones, each one having it's own pool area. We were in zone 4 apartment 407 which was great as it also has the second dining area and bar with outside tables and chairs.

The review I am going to give is an honest one and the complex might not suit everyone but I hope I can at least answer some questions.

Accommodation:

The rooms have dated decor but are fantastic in size with everything you would want. The bedroom has two queen size beds with good wardrobe space but you might want to ask for more hangers at reception or take your own. The bathroom is large with a bath toilet bidet and tiled walk in shower. I attempted to have a bath while there and have to say there is not enough hot water from the tank for more than a two inch rinse but the shower was good. The towels are replaced on a regular basis and you only have to ask if you require more. Just be aware there is no hair dryer so you would have to take your own.

The living room has two sofa beds which are very comfortable but we sat outside on the patio most of the time. There is a micro kitchen which has doors to close it off. We were all inclusive so only used the kettle for a cuppa. Although there is plenty of utensils and pots, I don't know if I would manage to do self catering cooking there.

All Inclusive:

There was not a lot of choice of food but it was varied and every evening there is a carvery section with a roast of the evening and the chef with cook pork chops or steak etc for you fresh. Breakfast consists of scrambled egg or boiled egg with the fried eggs being cooked to order, beans hot dog sausages and something I found very strange peas or green beans. Doesn't work for me but hey ho. There is also cereal fruit and pastries.

Lunch is your usual selection of salad or stews, fish etc. Just be aware the only time you see cold meat is in the morning along with cheese, lunchtime and evening meals it is coleslaw based seafood salad or Florida salad type thing.That said I enjoyed everything I had for a week and certainly ate more than I would do at home. If you are a pudding person then you might be a bit disappointed.

There is a coffee machine and fruit juice machine which also dispenses cold water. There is a large selection of flavored tea but sometimes it was difficult to get your hands on English tea so if you are a tea jenny then take your own to be on the safe side.

Drinks are served at the bar and the staff are lovely but be aware it is very much a manana manana situation (laid back). There were never anymore than 5 at the bar when we were there and you do tend to have a chat while you are waiting so it is not really a problem. The drinks were ok for local brands and the wine was pleasant enough. If you want branded drinks then you would have to go to the bar located beneath reception but if all inclusive you would still have to pay for them.

The one thing that really lets this Hotel down is lack of entertainment. There simply is none. I believe the kids had animation teams during the day and a little mini disco at night so I don't think you would have to worry if you are going with children and just across the road is the Holiday World mini theme park. It's just at night there is nothing on for the adults not even a bit of background music coming from the bar. We were so lucky that we met a great group of friends in our area and made our own entertainment.

It is three euros to go to playa de Ingles where there is loads of entertainment in the various centers. We went to the Yumbo center with another crowd from the Hotel and went to Sparkles a drag show bar. It was a fantastic night and the prices were quite good. They have a happy hour where the drinks are cheaper so it might be worth while going in a little bit earlier and stocking up if you are on a budget. They have a website so you could check that out before you go along.

There is a lovely little promenade down at Meloneras which is worth a visit. It takes around half an hour to walk down to it at a gentle pace and a taxi costs around five euros. There is entertainment down there at night with beach bars to the left of the lighthouse and expensive restaurants and bars to the right.

All in all we had a great time and we found it value for money. You make of it what you want in a holiday.

PS if you are going to the welcome meeting it is usually held at the Koala Bar across from reception and down the stairs to the pool area. We had no clue and had to ask at reception. The bar wasn't open when we were there but it might be in high season.

Hope this help and just ask if you have any questions.

Room Tip: Zone 4 is good as it has it's own restaurant and bar area. Our room was 407 downstairs with a p...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LELScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barton-upon-Humber, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

I think having read the review previously by pandaco, we must have been on the same trip dates 9th ~ 16th November?

We would echo mostly the same comments, in general the Hotel, Staff & Management were excellent.

Zone 4 & 5 are somewhat remote from the main reception & having to lug heavy bags the 300m to the room was a bind & perhaps could be considered impossible by some guests.

Be aware that the Hotel is partly bordered by Av. de.la Europea on one side & Av. Finnair on the other and both can be quite busy with some associated road noise.

The only negative was relating to the Airport Transfer provided by Thomas Cook. The baggage took around 35 minutes to arrive on the belt but then for no logical reason the Transfer Rep took 45 minutes to arrive at our bus after the final passengers had already boarded it ?????

The upshot being that having arrived some 30 minutes early by air, it then was exactly 2 hrs before our bus departed the airport, which was unacceptable. Then 5 other hotels later we finally arrived 30 minutes too late for evening dinner service, although to be fair the hotel had made up a modest packup.

The transfer rep seemed oblivious to most things including my comment that had she got to the bus with the last passengers we'd have easily made it to eat dinner.

It was worth paying 40 euros for the taxi to make our own way back to the Airport in our own time and glad we were to have done so when the rest of our holiday maker friends were dumped at the end of a very long queue behind us !

In summary : A good Hotel around 2km from the Dunes of Mapalomas which is clean and has friendly staff in the main. Beds are very uncomfortable though so they can improve on that aspect if they choose to listen to this feedback.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Specky_Techie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2013

Just returned from a weeks AI stay at the Koala Gardens and have to say that it is ok for a 'cheap' deal. If you want 4 star then this is not the hotel for you, as they say ' you get what you pay for'.
Waited around 45 mins for the transfer coach to leave the airport, then on arrival at hotel 2 1/2 hours later we had to queue at check in for another 40 mins due to there being one receptionist on duty who had to copy everyone's passport. Room details were given then, we had to find the room in the dark. We had joined THe Club (their loyalty club), which offered us a superior room, late checkout, one spa treatment etc but needn't have bothered as none of it was ' available '. We had also emailed ahead to request a top floor room, but that was also ignored due to the hotel being full. ( other guests that had booked after us - 2 weeks ago - had top floors ).
Rooms are large and spacious, flat screen tv on wall (remote control has to be hired), kitchenette tucked away in cupboard, consisting of 2 ring stove, microwave,toaster and coffee maker. Very few cooking utensils so self catering would be very hard in our room although we did discover that other rooms had kettles and several more saucepans etc (we had one pan and a frying pan). Bathroom was large with separate bath and shower, wc and bidet. Usually plenty of hot water around 5pm, but sometimes scarce around 6pm when everyone is using it. No hair dryer in our room but other rooms did have them.
Bedrooms have plenty of storage and 2 larger than average single beds. I found the bed comfortable but OH found it very hard. Blankets available in the wardrobes, but no extra pillows.
We were in block 5, away from the main hotel, which we found nice and quiet during the day time and most of the night too, until the noisy neighbors came in and the cats started fighting. Plenty of sun beds, so no need for the towels at dawn game, unless you wanted one with arms and a riser on the back of which there were 6 around our pool. Pool was freezing and no real shallow end, only 3 parasols so not a lot of shade if you want to get out of the sun. As we had a ground floor we were able to step out of our room, onto the patio area and straight onto the poolside so that was an advantage of not having an upstairs room.
Restaurant was ok, never busy and offered a variety of basic but adequate food. Breakfast was a selection of hot and cold foods (no omelets ), no fresh juice, but orange, tropical or pineapple available from machine along with tea, coffee, cappuccino etc. lunch and evening meal usually offered pork and fish along with one other meat, a selection of veg and often chips, as well as the usual salad, etc. Deserts were not that great, but there was always 4 varieties of ice cream available. Drinks were available to fetch from the bar and cutlery was self service as you came through the door.
We found the restaurant very clean and the waiters worked really hard to clear tables quickly. Any spills were dealt with straight away, but sometimes you could appear to be invisible at the bar!
The hotel is based around 5 blocks, block 2 is where the reception area is located, and each has its own pool. The snack bar is also in block 2, under reception, which is also a restaurant for breakfast and evening meal. The 2nd restaurant is between blocks 4 & 5. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinks are available all day as it is also the pool bar for blocks 4&5.
We asked for a late checkout (5pm)on arrival and were told to ask the day before departure. On doing so were told it was not possible as no rooms available ( we said we were members of the club and one of the benefits was a late checkout, but we may as well have said the moon was green). We were told there was a courtesy room where we could shower, change etc and a luggage room.
After vacating the room at midday we asked to put our bags in the luggage room and the receptionist shrugged her shoulders and said its full, but you can try. After some shifting around of some cases we managed to get ours in ( it's actually an office at rear of reception not a luggage room). When we asked later on if we could use the courtesy room we were told there wasn't one, we would have to change in the toilet! About half an hour after making do with a change of clothes we were then asked by a different receptionist if we were waiting for the key to the courtesy room. My OH decided to make use of it and came back and said we had drawn a short straw in our room. This one had a better equipped kitchen, a kettle, a larger tv, a hair dryer etc. I guess this would be one of the superior rooms ( maybe reserved for the non English guests ).
All in all we had an enjoyable week, the weather was great (one cloudy day), a couple of free trips out - PALs trip was enjoyable if you can put up with the presentation, the Anfi Del Mar trip (timeshare) a bonus as they give you 45 euros for going ( they stamp your voucher and TC rep gives you cash back), but they make it sound like you are getting a day on an exclusive island with beach etc, but you are not, it's a public beach that anyone can use, it is only the hotel that is exclusive.
Approx 10 min walk over to Holiday World - fun fair, bowling etc. the same to the large market on Wednesday and Saturday. Faro 2 centre about 20 min stroll, but now only consists of 2 restaurants, a supermarket and a gift/electrical shop. Taxi to Yumbo center cost 3.40 euros, so better there for shopping and many items cheaper than the market.
As I said cheap and cheerful(ish), we would return if the price was right.

Room Tip: Don't think it makes any difference what you ask for. All rooms close to a pool, some shaded by...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sue A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this complex and we could not fault where we stayed. we had an appartment on the ground floor overlooking the pool area. It was lovely and quiet and very welcoming.The accommodation was very clean and spacious. There was a small super market on the site where we were able to get most things needed. One day that we went to the super market the young lady serving us gave us a little gift which we thought was great. We were able to have sun lounges any time of day as there were always spares. We went to the local beach on a free bus and brought back to the hotel on a free bus. That's the good news!!!. The food at the hotel was limited especially the deserts, having said that we were able to find something to eat most days. The day time and evening entertainment was almost non existant.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Rooms are basic but clean, self catering facilities are good, fridge, 2 ring hob, sink, cutlery and plates, no kettle, we just used a pan. There are 3 pools but we only sat around one, there is a small shop on site, great for ice reams etc. There is a bigger supermarket across from the bus stop. the apartments are set in a residential area and there is a free bus to the beach. it takes 20 mins and gets busy, we started walking, it took 10 mins, there is a short cut, behind the amusement centre just follow the rain overflow drain, it has a wide path along side it.there are lots of bars and restaurants to choose from, steaks are amazing and cheap, .taxi's are cheap to hire.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Linda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about smartline Koala Garden

Property: smartline Koala Garden
Address: Calle Geminis 2 | San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, 35100, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain (Formerly Apartamentos THe Koala Garden Suites)
Location: Spain > Canary Islands > Gran Canaria > Maspalomas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #192 of 220 Hotels in Maspalomas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — smartline Koala Garden 3*
Number of rooms: 229
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Apartamentos THe Koala Garden Suites is located 2 kilometers away from the sea and near the golf course in Maspalomas. In an ideal surrounding for your family vacation, Apartamentos THe Koala Garden Suites offers comfort and service. It features spacious and luminous apartments, which dispose of air conditioning and the equipment you need for your vacation. A shopping center and an amusement park are close to the complex; you will also find a wide offer in further entertainment and relaxing activities nearby. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koala Garden Hotel Maspalomas
Koala Maspalomas
Koala Apartments Hotel Maspalomas
Koala Apartments Maspalomas
Smartline Koala Garden Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

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